By Cathy Turney
October is National Self-Promotion Month (really!), and there is no less expensive, faster, and easier way for journalists and bloggers to promote themselves and get their writing before thousands of eyeballs than Twitter.
“My Twitter followers have helped me grab the attention of powerful influencers, got one of my stories 30,000 reads on the story-sharing site WattPad, and landed me a job at a publishing house.”
-Daniel Parsons, author
But Twitter is so @#$% obtuse, you say. Well, yes, it is. I sweated bullets to make Twitter just work because not only was it the best way to market the real estate book I had written, but it fit my budget: free. Which, by the way, Facebook when used for marketing is not. But that’s another story. My right-brain Luddite struggle to build a flock (which now numbers 25,000 and counting) resulted in my book Get 10,000+ Twitter Followers – Easily, Quickly, Ethically, which I wrote because you shouldn’t have to suffer through all the left-brain technical manuals I’ve read that told me what to do but didn’t show me. Here’s a tip plucked from my book, describing one of the ways that in only five to ten minutes a day I amassed my flock of followers.
Your banner, aka header, is the first impression potential followers get, so it must be engaging. Unruffle those feathers! You do not need to create it yourself. The simple and inexpensive way is to have Fiverr.com or another such service make it for you for as little as $25. You simply tell them what you want in it, send them images to include if you have any (if you don’t, ask them to find some for you), and say you want it to fit Twitter banner format. Easy! They’ll send you the completed banner and you just upload it in the space provided on Twitter.
To see some good examples of Twitter banners for journalists, log on to Twitter and in the search bar type in @News18CJ. Pretty engaging, right? Then check out this one: @jon_greenberg. For bloggers, look at these two: @LatinaBlogger and @Lbloggeruk. You can give Fiverr examples like those and say you want something similar. If you write for a newspaper or have published a book, include those images. Consider adding a motto – something that reveals the essence of you. The more avocations or interests you put in your banner, the more diverse a follower base you’ll attract.
It’s especially important for journalists to look “relevant” on Twitter. You need a huge following because that says “this reporter writes stuff that matters.” Your editor will pay you more money! Publishers will beat a path to your door! OK, I can’t guarantee that, but Twitter will boost your success exponentially.
Cathy Turney is the author of Get 10,000+ Twitter Followers – Easily, Quickly, Ethically, available on Amazon. Her humorous tell-all about the real estate sales industry (Laugh Your Way to Real Estate Sales Success) won the American Business Association Stevie Award for Best Business Book of the Year 2015. She is a contributor to Huffington Post, tweets at @CathyTurneyLafs, and blogs at www.CathyTurneyWrites.com.